New funding to revitalize the Sharswood neighborhood, while providing valuable opportunities
MÁS EN ESTA SECCIÓN
The Sharswood community in North Philadelphia is getting an extra boost to its development.
On Wednesday, Aug. 3, Sharswood Ridge received a new $2,125,000 state grant through the RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program).
The new funding is sure to pay huge dividends to the area.
“The RACP funds are being used to bring the Sharswood community access to healthy food, healthcare, a community bank, and to create leasing opportunities for local small businesses,” said Jasmine Childress, marketing operations manager at Mosaic Development Partners, a Black-owned development firm.
Each of those components will aim to lead to the prosperity of the Sharswood community.
Senator Sharif Street has been among the biggest advocates for obtaining this funding, providing valuable opportunities for residents.
“What this is about is investing in communities and investing in the people that make up the community,” said Sen. Street.
This builds on an overarching effort by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) to reshape and revitalize the Sharswood neighborhood, which has historically been among the most disadvantaged in the city. The project is in partnership with Mosaic Development Partners, and Shift Capital, a real estate developer.
“PHA is no longer just building housing, but helping to structure communities,” said Sen. Street.
“Housing equals dignity. We recognize that it is not just about having a place to live, but it’s about having all the appropriate amenities,” he continued.
The new funding is just the latest development for the effort, and builds off the momentum that has been taking shape recently.
Just last week, the Sharswood community saw the grand opening of Grocery Outlet, the first supermarket to open in the neighborhood in a half-century.
Prior to the opening, the area had been the location of bodegas, which often did not provide fresh food options for shoppers.
“We're glad the folks will have a quality supermarket… so that we can have better health outcomes because so many of the social determinants of health are tied to having access to fresh food at an affordable price,” added Street.
In addition, Grocery Outlet is owned and operated by a young, Black entrepreneur, Donta Rose, who was born and raised in the North Philadelphia area.
Street highlighted how this shows that the effort isn’t just enhancing service quality, but also the quality of life for the people who live in this neighborhood.
Grocery Outlet already has 25 local hires, right from the Sharswood and surrounding neighborhood.
In addition to the new supermarket, the development will also include 98 residential units, a new urgent care and senior center, a Santander Bank and other amenities.
Maria Sourbeer, senior vice president of development for Mosaic Development Partners, is astonished by the work that is being done.
She admits that the project was heavily challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The project was hit by COVID. We would never have been able to get where we are, facing the problems of keeping our laborer safe and keeping them on site,” she said. “So, we went to the state.”
While the RACP program is highly competitive, she is grateful for the support and new funding, knowing the impact it will make.